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Is it a procedural irregularity for the court commissioner to order my ex to see the public defender?

Everett, WA |

I motioned the court to find my ex in contempt. I provided all necessary evidence to satisfy the elements of contempt and my ex didn't provide a response but showed up to the hearing. The commissioner rescheduled the hearing date for two weeks and ordered her to go see the public defender. I specifically didn't request imprisonment on the paperwork to avoid this outcome. I feel confident on my case, but if my ex does get representation, is there a case to point out that this is an irregularity or some type of bias?

When my ex was served, she texted me a response indicating that she received everything and was glad that I went through all the trouble of filing the motion. It's obviously sarcastic and appears to mock the court order and I think would help demonstrate contempt. However, because I didn't receive this until after service, I am wondering If I can bring this to our rescheduled hearing. Would I need to serve her again?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

Relax. This is good news for you. If you asked the court to find your ex-wife in contempt, and the first thing the court commissioner said was: "Hey lady, I am ordering you to go see the public defender." Then I am going to translate that for you: He is in effect saying: "Your ex-husband is right. You are guilty as hell. I am not doing anything on these allegations until you are represented by a lawyer, because I think that when this story is over, you are going to jail, and I do not want you to blame me for taking a legal / procedural wrong turn so that you can later blame me for the fact that you are in jail getting your ass kicked in every day." Do not try to become the enemy of the court commissioner. Focus on your legal adversary, and the court commissioner is not it - your ex-wife is.


I agree with Attorney Neisen's response!

Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client privilege is created by this communication. Attorney is licensed in California only.


I concur and truly appreciate Counselor Niesen's translation acumen.

Of course, as always this answer is general in nature, applies only to Illinois law, assumes certain facts omitted from the question and does not take into account any facts specific to any person’s particular circumstances. No attorney/client relation is created hereunder and I highly recommend you seek first the counsel and advice of an experienced contested civil litigator prior to taking any actions relating to this matter, as seemingly insignificant actions may have unintended consequences.


Contempt of court is when someone disobeys a court order wilfully. It is "contempt" directed at the court's authority. Thus, while you may not ask for jail, the court has power to impose a sentence. Therefore the commr was correct to refer to public defender. It is a quasi criminal case. A victim in a criminal case doesnt get to have final say so to the judge in sentencing. Victims can usually give input, but it is up to the judge.

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